Sunday, 18 November 2012

Twisting by the pool!

I have learnt swimming only this year at the National Centre for Biological Sciences swimming pool. Very nice; a changing room, put on trunks, take along a towel, shower before swimming, put on swimming goggles and get into the blue-looking water – swim as long – a hot shower after the swim, a drier for the trunks, a hair drier even and hot coffee and sandwiches upstairs!

We have such a facility here along the Siang river too; a pool is formed during the month of November aside the Siang river along the sands and rocks and the forested valley. Before November it is still connected to the river so its dangerous, one can win a free ticket to Brahmaputra if one misjudges the current and after November is too shallow to swim. So I went to this pool called Gandhak by the Bomdians two days back with Gekut my manfriday. Sandy banks, the warmth of the sun above, the chill of the onset winter – swim as long – bask in the sun to dry yourself and the clothes, listen to the waves of Siang roar, watch an Indian cormorant glide by, smoke a beedi perhaps, overall a therapeutic experience. The swim was fantastic, the water deep enough for me to stand vertical without touching the bottom. Gekut had earler fixed some banana trunks together with sticks for a float and we thoroughly enjoyed rowing it. Unfortunately it was a one man float and we had a hearty laugh when both of us sat and it upturned! An hour spent there and then we collected some 'taari' and left back for the village.

Taari is a locally eaten insect found below the rocks that is collected for the protein as well as for the cinnaomon-like taste. We left some stones unturned but still collected enough to go with the evening meal. There is also a curious fever associated with eating 'taari', people may be allergic to a certain individual insect and may get spasms for the next four days to week and may remain high enough to not get out of their homes! Still, folks here cannot resist eating the bug and relish it and so do I. I think I will go to Gandhak again only next November.

Gekut rowing the banana trunk boat!

Me, rowing for the first time anywhere ever!